Taking a tour of Cuban ballparks

From SABR member John Moist at BallparkDigest.com on October 17, 2011 (h/t Uni Watch):

In January 2010 and again in 2011, I was fortunate to be part of a baseball tour of Cuba, conducted by a Canadian group, Cubaballtours, which has offered these tours since 2001. In the course of the tours we attended eleven games in western, central and eastern Cuba, and met several players, former players and team and league officials. We also got a chance to spend a lot of time in Havana and Santiago, saw much of the countryside and other cities, and learned a little about life in Cuba.

Tour participants were encouraged to bring donations, such as baseball cards, balls, bats, gloves, hats and other equipment. We gave these to kids at ballparks and several schools. I brought a dozen new baseballs and 24 unused souvenir caps that I had been hoarding for years. One boy, about 6, now has a new Phillies hat that I got at the Vet in 1997. It’s way too big for him, and when he turned his head, the cap started spinning, but he would not let go of it.  


A highlight of the tour was a visit to Cruces, the hometown of Martin Dihigo, considered to be Cuba’s greatest player. We met Dihigo’s son, a former farmhand for Cincinnati and teammate of Tony Perez and Pete Rose, and visited Martin’s gravesite. … We also visited Conrado Marrero, at 100 the oldest living former major league player, in his home in Havana. Marrero pitched for the Washington Senators from 1950-54 and was selected to the American League All-Star Team in 1951.

Read the full article here: http://ballparkdigest.com/201110174264/minor-league-baseball/visits/touring-the-ballparks-of-cuba

Related link: Sign up for Kit Krieger’s Cubaball tour in January 2012

Originally published: November 22, 2011. Last Updated: November 22, 2011.